Ivy flowers and berries provide important food for insects and birds in autumn and winter.
Insects such as bees, hoverflies and wasps feast on the nectar and pollen of the flowers before they go into hibernation. Rare insects may be attracted to Ivy flowers, including Ivy Bee and the Golden Hoverfly.
The nutritious berries are eaten by thrushes, Blackcaps and Woodpigeons. All year round, the leaves provide shelter for insects, birds, bats and other small mammals. Ivy is an important food plant for some butterfly and moth caterpillars such as Holly Blue butterfly and Small Dusty Wave, Angle Shades and Swallow-tailed moths.
Here, at the top of Oldway, we have a very special plant, the Ivy Broomrape, that grows close to Ivy. Broomrapes are sap-sucking 'plant pilferers' that steal their food from the roots of other plants, and the host of this plant is of course Ivy. They are known as parasitic plants. How weird is nature!